Extra Hands

 A yellow rose corsage is next to pink daisies on a reception table at a wedding. Sunlight streamed through the rustic structure. Cool breeze cut the stifling heat and carried the wondrous scent of wedding meal preparations. Typical to my personality, I strategized. I scouted the gardens and layout with my white cane and various family members, and then took my seat. The DJ announced the buffet.

Experience teaches me the pros and cons of cane work. Managing fine motor skills like the balancing of a plate and self-serving food gets complicated with cane in hand. Too tall to stow like a crutch under an arm. Too thin to hug to my chest. Hot lids lurk, food refuses to divide or spoon easily. Serving utensils have a nasty habit of wandering elsewhere.  At a buffet, my cane reduces me to a one-armed bandit, many reaches of chance.

A wide gravel path divides the building from the tented reception tables. It’s a straight shot down the catered gauntlet, no turns. I leave my cane folded and follow others. Guests form two lines and chatter in celebratory fashion. Fare like cheesy twice-baked potatoes, a bright vegetable medley, and smothered chicken breasts rest in silver chaffing dishes, waiting patiently for their turn at dinner plate bingo. I’d rather not risk a losing streak when a good meal is involved.

I nudge my foodie father-in-law. “You’ll help me through the line, right?” He agrees and procreds to describe our options with proper detail. For the drippy/messier food, he scoops up a portion for me and plates it. Other guests continue through the line, no payout delays from us.

I carefully return to my table, wincing as I feel blisters forming from my new dress shoes, I dig in and consider buffet accommodations. If I didn’t know others in line, I’d still ask for help. Most people happily give their take on which food looks appetizing and offer to serve. What about when I’m alone? A wearable tray perhaps? No thanks. I need a product to add to table edges, a place to set a cane aside briefly. A strong magnetic clip would hold it upright while I enjoyed hands-free time. Or perhaps some of those wall storage clasps I push my broom and mop into at home would work, too.

Let’s be honest. Those options are boring. I would love to sheath my cane like a sword as needed, but it brings to mind the questionable logistics of flipping the cane up and over with grace. Most likely the wide swing would make unintended contact with other guests, their plates or horrors, the prepared food. I shall not.

When I need an extra hand at the buffet, I’ll stick with asking for help. As a wedding guest, you don’t want to be the topic of conversation the next day at brunch unless of course you’re the bride or the groom. Cheers.

Will you be attending a wedding this year? What do you think about buffets? How about buffet pants? Tell me about it.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Trisha says:

    I never thought about how difficult it would be to navigate a buffet while holding a cane in one hand. Yikes! I’m clumsy enough and need help sometimes even with two hands free. I always end up spilling something all over the table.

    The only upcoming wedding I know of will be next summer when my husband’s niece gets married. I tune out when people talk wedding plans so I don’t know if they’re planning to have a buffet. I do love all the choices at buffets but, with my food allergies, I am never able to find enough to eat to require buffet pants.

    1. Food allergies, the permanent antidote to buffet pants, ha. Always nice to hear your take, Trisha.

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